Rooted Cosmopolitanism: Spaces of Multiplicity in Cusco, Peru


Cosmopolitanism has recently been revived as a concept through which to explore increasing global interactions. While many theoretical advances have been made, these conversations focus on urban centers in the global North and remain caught up in binary concepts such as the global/local. In our article, we start with an empirical set of social processes and spatial practices in Cusco, a global South city with extensive international connections. To this we add theoretical concepts of rooted cosmopolitanism and multiplicity of space to move beyond the global/local dichotomy. We then formulate our theorization of the production of cosmopolitan places and propose a revised conceptualization of rooted cosmopolitanism. The multiple stories of Cusco allowed us to recognize the production of rooted cosmopolitan places through three interrelated processes: openness to diversity and difference, valuing of own aesthetics based on personal preferences and local traditions, and territorial commitment to shared space and its people. We provide examples of these processes, and posit the need for them to occur simultaneously, to show the potential for a rooted cosmopolitanism. Our intention is not to establish a set of criteria for development but to contribute to conversations on understanding, evaluating and negotiating diverse flows in place.